Pondering while wandering …

Over the years my mom was full of wit and wisdom and I’ve often written about her “momisms” as I called them. She began these little preachings and teachings when I was just a young girl. Many of her wise words did sink in and I follow them all these years later. “Always wear clean underwear when you leave the house” is a wise choice, though some “momisms” are now outdated, like “always carry two dimes to make a phone call in case you are nervous and drop the first one.” I think pay phones are long gone like the $0.10 price to make a phone call. Besides, most people own a cell phone now. Here is a post I wrote last year for Mother’s Day about Mom’s words of advice.

I ponder on these “momisms” from time to time, more so during this pandemic which has turned our lives upside down and inside out. For me, working from home since 2011 and doing a daily and usually solitary walk since the same year, life is not all that different … that is, until I turn on the radio or hop onto social media. There are the horrible stats, or a barrage of photos of gloved and masked medical staff, or tearful videos by those workers pleading for more PPEs. There is no escape from COVID-19 and now we are about to enter the peak period this week and the next.

I try to switch to music, or just silence, yet I want to know what is going on. I limited my news viewing and listening this past weekend by switching to music – the noise got on my nerves after a while. I even cleaned the house – well kinda sorta anyway and that domestic effort was because it was too rainy to walk Saturday and too windy on Sunday. I am not especially proud of my housework efforts and the house would not pass the white glove test.

Daily walks have always been a balm for my soul, a calming restorative time to permit my mind to have a clean slate and take in what is going on around me.

Yet, these days as I’m walking, I am uneasy. It is not the same – at Council Point Park the Cooper’s Hawk is slowly circling overhead, dimming any possibilities that my furry or feathered pals will come for a visit to the pathway. Many times I am going home, having passed out very few peanuts. And when I do pass them out, I’m rationing for now, so I don’t run out and have to make a trip to the grocery store, a hubbub of pandemonium and potential virus germs. Since the ‘hood squirrels and birds still show up and chow down daily, I likely will order more peanuts in the shell from my former HVAC tech who opened up a Wild Birds Unlimited store and now delivers in the Downriver area to keep everyone stress-free while they watch their backyard birds and squirrels.

Only a handful of the regular walkers have returned after the Winter, likely since most are long retired, older and worry for their health, so they remain hunkered down in the house. On the pathway, I pass strangers I’ve never seen before, perhaps trying out walking since their jobs have gone kaput. Sometimes they wear a mask or a scarf over their mouth and nose. Their heads are bent; they don’t even make eye contact as they study their phones or their shoe tips. I don’t know – yes, it is the same venue, yet still a feeling of disquiet prevails.

I pondered while ambling along that perimeter path about one of Mom’s favorite sayings to her young daughter, who often impatiently counted the days until delivery of a dolly from Santa, or perhaps a coveted birthday present. The anticipation was often as great as the event itself – you remember that I’ll bet. While waiting for the big holiday or birthday, Mom would caution me not to wish my life away “because life speeds by way too fast, so be content for the present time only.” Those words flashed back to me many times the past few weeks. Like you, I wish we could put this pandemic on fast forward, to a worry-free time to do the many things we just took for granted before. So this time, those words imparted to me for years will go unheeded – I want positivity just as much as everyone else – may we find it soon.

Unlike these seagulls, we can’t just “up and fly away” but we can follow their safe practices seen below. I’ve collected a few funny seagull shots for this post. Yes, seagull antics and poses can be funny too – the squirrels do not own a monopoly on funny photos, though it may seem that way from reading my posts. 🙂

The header image shows a flock of seagulls milling about a tugboat on the Detroit River at Dingell Park. Of course we know hanging out with our friends or co-workers is a no-no now. We’ve introduced “social distancing” and “self-quarantine” as new buzzwords in our vocabulary and lives.

Hey “social distancing” is the norm these days, but this may be downright rude!

Here in Michigan, we are still allowed to go to parks and our Metroparks have some free days during the week for families to hike or explore the trails. They even post video hikes on their social media sites. Solitary exercise is fine too, like yoga for instance …

… or squats, …

… walking works for me as you know.

The Department of Natural Resources says we can fish anywhere we want, but if you’re with a buddy, you must stand or sit one fishing pole away to practice safe “social distancing” – that’ll be tough on crowded piers along the Detroit River once the walleye run begins next month. In some parks, like here at Bishop Park, the early bird catches the worm (and the fish) so best get there early.

Looks like these fishermen came in under the wire. Whew!

You can use the solitary time to walk and meditate – be mindful of your surroundings.

Hopefully your ‘do is looking good, as there are no trips to the barber or hair stylist for awhile. So grab a little hair gel and hope for the best. As they used to say back in the day “a little dab’ll do ya.”

Hmm, on second thought maybe you need the whole jar to tame this wild-looking ‘do.

Stay safe everyone – you’ve got this!!

About Linda Schaub

This is my first blog and I enjoy writing each and every post immensely. I started a walking regimen in 2011 and decided to create a blog as a means of memorializing the people, places and things I see on my daily walks. I have always enjoyed people watching, and so my blog is peppered with folks I meet, or reflections of characters I have known through the years. Often something piques my interest, or evokes a pleasant memory from my memory bank, so this becomes a “slice o’ life” blog post that day. I respect and appreciate nature and my interaction with Mother Nature’s gifts is also a common theme. Sometimes the most-ordinary items become fodder for points to ponder over and touch upon. My career has been in the legal field and I have been a legal secretary for four decades, primarily working in downtown Detroit, and now working from my home. I graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in print journalism in 1978, though I’ve never worked in that field. I like to think this blog is the writer in me finally emerging!! Walking and writing have met and shaken hands and the creative juices are flowing once again in Walkin’, Writin’, Wit & Whimsy – hope you think so too. - Linda Schaub
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41 Responses to Pondering while wandering …

  1. Eliza says:

    You have this too, Linda
    You’re sleeping now, I hope.
    Shame about the fellow walkers. When I went to the park here it was packed….
    Take care of yourself… and enjoy walking. And well done for cleaning! And lessening news intake…
    Love, light, and glitter

    Liked by 4 people

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Hi Ellie – Well, I’ve been trying to get to bed a little earlier as they say to keep your immune system in good shape to help battle this virus. It does not always work out that way though. 🙂 Michigan is a real hot spot, especially the county I live in. I am really behind here in Reader – I hope to catch up today. We have rain again today but hopefully I can eke out a walk this morning. I hear they might cancel Wimbleton … first time since 1945. Take care of yourself.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This was a fun post with the seagulls. Our lives haven’t changed much, either. The atmosphere of your walking has changed, but ours is the same. The same neighbors still pass us and wave.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Linda Schaub says:

    Glad you liked it Anne. I had collected these oddball photos of seagulls at three different Riverfront parks and I knew I could turn them into a fun post in the midst of the current situation. I hope I can continue walking too – no restrictions for us to shelter in place yet, just the “stay home – stay safe” order in place a week tomorrow. Not sure if I should cover my mouth with a bandana – if everyone at the Park begins doing that, I suspect I will too, but for now, no one is chattin’ it up on the path – besides it may scare the squirrels. Guess I’ll have to reach down and pat them on the head instead. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sandra J says:

    Wonderful post Linda, so many good quotes from your Mother, I remember them also. Your photos are great along with your writing. I love reading your story lines, I had to chuckle with the exercising birds. How is it your Gulls have such a beautiful fuzzy look to them. Their heads look so velvety and fluffy. So very cute, especially the one sitting on the railing. That is the cutest Gull I think I have ever see. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Glad you liked it Sandra … I had collected all these fun gull pictures during my recent trips to the Detroit Riverfront – most were taken at Bishop Park in Wyandotte. I wish the seagulls buzzing around the tugboat had been clearer. I had a shot at Lake Erie of a huge group of gulls sleeping far out on the water, but decided to use this one as it was at the Detroit Riverfront. I wonder if my gulls like fuzzy looking and velvety because I was really up close to them – I’ll bet I was not much more than 10 feet away from them. I’m glad you liked the storyline too – I decided to reference the Mother’s Day post as I had a lot of my mom’s “momisms” in them and used many old pics, of my mom as a child and me as a child. That was one of my favorite posts ever.

      I thought of you with the squatting seagull as we recently mentioned how birds tuck their wings in and the massive wingspan of all birds when they take flight – this gull looked like it was a baby and it was actually the same gull that was doing yoga and with its mate/buddy on the railing … you don’t see them sitting like that much as they are usually on the move!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. alison41 says:

    thanks for this post. I enjoyed the seagull pics. I live 3 km from the beach, so plenty in my area too. We’re on Day 4 of a National Lockdown and I haven’t been out and about for 9 days now, but luckily the weather is beautiful, so I can use my patio. We have a ban on walking/exercising. The message is: Stay at Home! I’m doing my best. The Internet, blogs, WhatsApp & the phone are a blessing for people like me who live alone. Stay well.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, thank goodness for the internet and reading blogs right now Alison. We just had an update on rules and regs from our Governor this morning and our daily totals of cases and deaths are really staggering. Michigan is a hot spot for this virus. Returning to school has not been ruled out, but the Governor said it likely will not happen. They have not ruled out parks and exercise yet … the Park paths are 10 feet wide (yes, I used my feet to measure them), so that is okay for social distancing rules. If things get really bad, I will not go there to walk anymore. Right now walkers are sticking to themselves and our playground equipment was taped up with yellow caution tape last Thursday so no kids play there now and I don’t think people would be sitting at the picnic tables as I guess picnics are out for awhile, maybe in the backyard, family only. It sure is a scary time and I am in the same boat as you Alison. I have always liked seagulls – I know they are noisy and buzz around for food if you have any, but they at least they stay still long enough to get a few pictures of them. You stay well too.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Momisms are the best. Every once in a while I pull one of my Mom’s out and use it. Things are getting more quiet here. Very few cars on the road. We grocery shop as early as we can and there are few people (which suits us just fine). We are doing the best we can but will be relieved when this is behind us. I hope that we don’t lose anyone we love. We have a few elderly relatives who would not survive it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I have a lot of “momisms” in my head. One day I was walking at the Park and the string in my sweatpants broke and my pants started to fall down. I did a post about it that day remembering my mom saying “always carry a safety pin with you.”

      Our traffic reporters (who now all work from home as they are employees of the all-news station I listen to so can easily remote into the station as long as there is someone producing news, traffic and weather) cannot believe how light the traffic is. Occasionally they show it on their Facebook page. Midday traffic and you could go bowling. Our senior shopping is 7:00 – 8:00 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. When I need groceries, and it will be lighter in the a.m. by then, that’s what I’ll do too. I have no relatives, but do have some friends with loved ones who are battling serious health problems right now without adding COVID-19 to their issues.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. susieshy45 says:

    The air is a lot less polluted, Linda and animals are out on the roads in my country. It is their land once again and I for one, like it.
    But the virus seems to be moving and moving so much so that one wonders if it was all preplanned- as it is moving with mathematical precision.
    The seagulls are wonderful- how they pose in different directions and so apt for the social distancing theme.
    Loved the entire post.
    Susie

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Oh Susie – I am glad you looked here – I forgot to e-mail you this post as I usually do. Sorry for that.

      That is good for the animals and land and I read something last week, that a cove area in Italy that has been polluted for many years, is now blue water and dolphins have returned there after many years and it is the lack of air pollution since everyone is staying home. That is interesting what you say about the virus and its precision in sweeping the globe … I have heard two people comment in the same manner. That’s a scary thought isn’t it? This is scary what is happening for sure.

      Glad you liked the seagulls – I loved their antics and poses and after I saw the photos when I got home, I decided it was a post to fit the times. I need to get a squirrel post done – it has been way too long.

      Take care Susie.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Ally Bean says:

    Wisdom from seagulls! I guess then what you’re telling us is that social distancing is for the birds? Or not for the birds? I think I confused myself with this comment. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Ha ha – well you are clever Ally and I should have thought of that line for this post. I was going to use the expression “birdbrain” but I know birds are pretty intelligent, so I left it out. I think people think it is for the birds though. The two seagulls facing the opposite way is the way to go and you won’t get into trouble that way. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. ruthsoaper says:

    My mom used to say “don’t wish your life away” too. I have recently changed that to “live in the moment.” I didn’t get out Saturday either but spent about three hours Sunday at the farm with my husband and the boys. Looks like it will be Wednesday before we see the sun again but at least it’s not raining. Love the story the sea gulls tell – was that hair product dippity do?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Our moms were smart weren’t they Ruth? Mine would also say that I’ll look back when I was old and wish I had that time I was so careless to want wished away. I almost added that part, but I didn’t want to put too much of a downer spin on this post. Yes, that was some rain Saturday and some wind yesterday – we got to 62 mph at Metro Airport! The grass is really greening up here – for you too? Hope it does not give your garlic wet feet.

      No, that was hair creme for men called “Brycreem” and it might have been in the early 60s. You are younger than me Ruth. I remember Dippity Do, that pink or green hair gel in a jar. A really big jar for lots of hair boo boos!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Stay safe Linda best wishes from the UK

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Laurie says:

    I often think about my mom’s “monisms” too. Her favorite one was “You’ll catch more flies with honey than vinegar.” I couldn’t figure out why I would want to catch flies at all! 🙂

    Bill and I have the same dilemma as you. Listening to all the news is depressing and causes anxiety, but we want to know what is going on. We have to limit ourselves to a few minutes each day. Thank goodness we can still get out and run or walk!

    Your seagull photos were great. Who knew a ring-billed gull could do exercizes? 🙂

    Like

  12. Linda Schaub says:

    Oh Laurie, my mom said that expression too when she talked about being nice to people rather than nasty. Yes, the little sayings were puzzling sometimes weren’t they when we were so young?

    Yes, there’s a need to know, but I know I listen too much. Like you, I am glad for getting out – we had an ugly weather weekend, but we are going to be better this week thankfully.

    Glad you liked my seagull photos and them doing exercises – why didn’t I get one swimming?

    Like

  13. Rebecca says:

    Your pictures that went along with your story made me smile. Life has certainly changed for the time being. Stay safe!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Glad to give you a smile Rebecca. Those seagull shots I collected seemed perfect to make a comparison to life as we know it now. Seagulls and squirrels – I seem to be lucky enough to get them to pose nicely without being skittish. You stay safe too!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. AnnMarie R stevens says:

    Miss Linda……………………………yes the seagulls are very pretty close up…………………….and YES………………………….I’m mighty in need of a haircut………………………………who knows when that day will be here……………………………….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, they cooperate like the squirrels Ann Marie. And I didn’t have to tender peanuts or bread to get their photos. Well, you could wear a hat for now, but when your bangs get long and start to get in your eyes, please make a better job than my parents did to me when I was a little kid … they used a string and tape and the scissors and stood on either side of me. My bangs looked like a mountain range! 🙂

      Like

  15. Great seagull shots Linda! When you talked about the pay phones I flashed back to the nickel toilet stalls!!! That was awful when you had to go and no money…lol

    Like

  16. Joni says:

    “I even cleaned the house – well kinda sorta anyway ” I love this – it’s my kind of cleaning too. Wonderfully expressive pictures and captions Linda. My Dadism (Dad’s saying) when I wanted something unpleasant like exams or school to be over was, “Don’t wish your life away!” I guess the best thing is to know this too shall pass, and just take it one day at a time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, my cleaning routine is pretty special isn’t it Joni? As I type this comment, I see a fine layer of dust on the phone. Back when we were young, even a couple of days was a long way away. Impetuous youth! Your Dad and my Mom had the right idea; we were just too young to “get” it.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Such strange times to all be going through together. I have been wondering how you have been over there and sorry only now catching up with posts. I like the rebellion of the seagulls in doing their own thing in their own way😁

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I am fine Zena – for me there were not any changes until the last few days as I’ve worked from home since 2011, so no difference there. But they closed the Park where I walk every day due to the Coronavirus last Friday. Hope all is well with you – are you still shut down at work?

      Like

      • It must be difficult with the park shut for you. It’s good not much has changed for you in regards to work. I have been working from home doing telephone counselling since the Lockdown began. It has its challenges as face to face counselling is far easier but it is working okay. On a plus side Munch gets lots of lie ins 😁. Every cloud has a silver lining.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes, that is very true Zena. I found alternatives, but it is such a peaceful place, so it was not the same in the neighborhood. As to you having to work from home, it would have better the Lockdown was in Winter, so the two of you could enjoyed being inside and not having to go in cold and snow.

        Like

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